Experts think the deal isn’t realistic
The closed Joint-Stock Company Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) has signed an agreement with the Boeing Corporation for the purchase of five B787-8 Dreamliners and two B747-8Fs (B777F).
According to the airline’s press service, the new aircraft will cost USD 1.9 billion. The airplanes are expected to arrive in either 2019 or 2020.
AZAL President Jahangir Askerov:
“The decision to order additional 787 Dreamliner aircraft will significantly expand our airline’s capabilities. The purchase of new planes will help us expand our routes and cope with increasing passenger traffic.”
Azerbaijan Airlines is the national flag carrier of Azerbaijan, though notorious for its high prices. As a national carrier, it enjoys governmental subsides and benefits.
Economist Natik Jafarly:
“Not to mention the fact that this agreement is a ‘cultural’ form of bribery. For the West, there is no point in spending so much money on a company that is so poorly managed.”
Economist Torgul Mashalli:
“AZAL is trying to create a ‘renewed’ image of the company, proudly declaring that it has a very young fleet with an average age of 9.5 years. They even bought new planes for their low-cost brands, which they usually don’t do.
“As for consequences of this ‘upgrade strategy’, ticket prices will either increase, or remain the same.”
- The Azerbaijani airline has a total of 40 destinations in 25 countries.
- Azerbaijan Airlines carried more than two million passengers in 2016.
- AZAL has 25 aircraft in its fleet, including: 787 Dreamliners, Boeing 767s and 757s, Airbus 340s, 320s, 319s as well as Embraer 190s.